The easiest way in which I can meditate or go on a journey is through sound, or more specifically certain types of atmospheric music, something with a repeated and/or subtle rhythmic pattern. One of my favourite pastimes was to listen to indigenous music, i.e. traditional music of indigenous people recorded by anthropologists in the field not for entertainment but for documentation and study. I felt, as I still do you can get a feel for a culture, a way of life by immersing yourself in the music. On many lazy afternoons I would put on a record with my noise isolating ear muffs and listen to, for example, the slow building ecstasy of the Ayuasca ritual of an Amazonian tribe, or listening to an African father singing a lullaby to his child under shelter from a Tropical Summer storm. In each of these instances my imagination took me to these places and I could almost sense the cooling rain, or I would feel the nervous build-up of the Ayuasca ritual.
With meditation I would pick a particular sound, as subtle as I could find and for the duration of the song I would solely focus on following that sound, no matter what was happening to the music in the foreground I kept my attention on that subtle sound and soon enough I would be in a deep meditation or trance like state. On day I listened to some tracks from Brian Eno’s album On Land which combines the more subtle sounds from nature, – cicadas, frogs, babbling brooks – with synthesised electronic sounds. I was there totally immersed in a landscape that was as real to me as anything else. I was an animal sitting on the banks of a river deep on a forest valley where the sunlit was soft and the air was saturated with the mist from the rushing river waters. And I was just being. Just sitting there absorbing all the sounds, the sensations. I became obsessed with these tracks I ould listen to them daily, for hours at a time. Eventually I was lead to this small grotto deep in the grounds of the local university which I lived across from. I would go there in the middle of the night and sit in this grotto for hours, listening to these tracks allowing the feeling of being a primordial animal to engulf me. After 2 weeks or so of doing this I took a break by trying an incantation ritual I had read about. I had lit my special candle and incense and started the incantation. I was just having a bit of fun not really expecting anything. While I was conducting this ritual I heard a slight tapping on the window of my small bedroom, the one with the large jasmine bush. I had heard this sound before and it was always just the jasmine bush brushing up against my window from a gust of wind. The ritual reached a point where I had to turn my thoughts inward and focus on what I wanted to incarnate. Being a single young man I focussed on brining Love into my life. I closed my eyes and turned inward and before I knew it I pictured myself sitting in the same river bend with the same sounds and sensations I had experienced in my meditation/journeys this past 2 weeks. Naively, I went with that. I didn’t feel anything unusual. I did notice that the weather had started to change from a sunny day to a windy overcast afternoon. As I sat focussing on the candle flame I started to hear the knocking on my bedroom window again but with more force, with something heavier that a branch from a jasmine bush. When I walked into my bedroom I saw a huge shadow behind the heavy curtains, in front of my window. It felt menacing. It felt huge, with super strength. The shadow moved towards the window and there was a large crash that made the windows rattle. As I previously mentioned, my bedroom was on a busy street leading to the University so it was not unusual to see people walking past the bedroom, even now and then pause in front of the bedroom window for whatever reason. But I had never seen anyone pay any attention to the window not to mention anyone casting a shadow as large as this. I was spooked. This thing was after me. So I quickly blew out the candle and snuffed the incense. Turned on all the lights and started to play some pop music. I then turned to pray asking Jesus and Mary to protect me and make this thing go away. Within a few minutes I felt at ease, the shadow had disappeared, the wind had died down and the atmosphere felt as light as it ever had. Stupidly I started to question the experience attributing to an over-active imagination or to fatigue. Later that afternoon, my baby sister asked my what that old man wanted. I said I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me she saw me talking to an angry old man who looked like he was scolding me, or telling me off. She said she was scared of him because he was powerful and he was angry. Unknown to me at the time, she has been sleeping in the room next to my bedroom when all this transpired and had seen all of this in the dream. I went outside to see what I could find. I found nothing apart from a heavy stick, which was basically a polished branch. I couldn’t see where that branch could have come from as there where no big trees in the vicinity form which the branch could have fallen. My sister remembered this incident well into adulthood although we never sat down and talked about it since that day.
That taught me to not take journeying into other realms casually. It is easy to do so, especially if, like me, you are trained in logic and the scientific mindset. Either don’t play around with this stuff at all, or suspend your ‘logical scientific’ mind and respect the process enough to take it seriously. Follow whatever advice you are given. For one thing don’t go on a vision quest without a purpose. You can’t just go hang out. You can go spend time with your power animals but in those instances you have a purpose. Otherwise you can attract the wrong sort of energy and bring it back with you.
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